AMD has introduced its entry-level A620 platform for AM5 processors. The new platform is designed to power inexpensive PCs that use AMD's CPUs in AM5 packaging based on the Zen 4 microarchitecture and to cut down costs; it omits support for overclocking, PCIe Gen5 connectivity of any kind, and USB 3.2 Gen2x2. Most importantly, base AMD A620-based motherboards will not support higher-wattage CPUs.

Disabling some connectivity is meant to simplify testing and validation procedures and the design of actual motherboards. On the platform hardware side of matters, the AMD A620 chipset uses the same Promontory 21 silicon as the more expensive B650 and X670 chipsets, but in this case, AMD cut down some of the features supported by silicon. In particular, A620 does not support 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2x2, only supports eight PCIe 3.0 lanes (depending on the exact motherboard configuration, the number of enabled lanes may vary), only supports two 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2 ports and two 5Gbps USB 3.0 ports.

Regarding motherboard design, AMD also does not mandate that its partners support processors with a TDP higher than 65W (88W PPT), so in many cases (if not most of them) A620-based mainboards will not be able to operate Ryzen 7000X or Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs at their full power limits. Our colleagues from Tom's Hardware note that AMD does not explicitly prohibit motherboards makers from supporting high-wattage gaming processors on A620-powered motherboards, but since the platform is meant to be cheap, we can only guess whether there will be many A620 mainboards that feature a sophisticated voltage regulating module for higher-end CPUs. 

On the bright side, A620-based motherboards support factory-overclocked memory with EXPO profiles up to DDR5-6000; it is uncertain whether further manual memory tuning is permitted.

Also, A620 platforms do not support CPU-enabled PCIe Gen5 x4 and x16 interconnections and only feature PCIe Gen4 speeds, which lowers production costs. Yet, they will support four 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2 ports enabled by the CPU.

Given the absence of client GPUs supporting a PCIe 5.0 x16 interface, which is unlikely to change for at least a year, and the minimal advantages of PCIe 5.0 x4 SSDs over those with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface for DirectStorage-enabled games, it seems that opting for PCIe 4.0 speeds instead of PCIe 5.0 for cheap platforms is reasonably practical.

Speaking of cheap AMD AM5 platforms in general, it should be noted that AMD only has three AM5 processors with a 65W TDP, including 12-core Ryzen 9 7900, eight-core Ryzen 7 7700, and six-core Ryzen 5 7600. The latter currently costs $229, which is not particularly cheap.

As for prices of actual A620 motherboards, only ASRock currently offers two of such platforms in the U.S. One costs $86, and another is priced at $100 over at Newegg. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how cheap or expensive similar A620-based platforms from such makers as Asus, Biostar, Gigabyte, and MSI will be.

Over time AMD will, of course, release inexpensive AM5 APUs with more powerful built-in graphics, and this is when its A620 platform will undoubtedly come in handy. But for now, AMD's Ryzen 7000-series processors mainly target gamers, and the latter are more likely to opt for a Ryzen 7000X chip with enhanced performance and overclocking support or a Ryzen 7000X3D processor with expanded cache for superior single-thread performance, which is going to benefit from more advanced B650-powered motherboards. That said, we can only guess how popular will AMD A620 platform will be before AMD rolls out cheaper AM5 processors.

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  • Techie2 - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    IMO if you are paying more than $300 for an AM5 mobo you are getting fleeced. Asrock sells a quality Steel Legend X670E mobo for $300. They are so popular that Newegg can hardly keep them in stock. If consumers are willing to pay $500-$1000 for a mobo Asus and friends will be glad to take your money.
  • Techie2 - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    Just as with the Tom's Hardware A620 story this Anandtech story is technically incorrect.

    Specifically the A620 chipset does NOT in any way prevent the full use and operation of Ryzen 7000 CPUs up to the VRM design of the mobo maker. There is a long thread on this on Tom's Hardware that they have buried due to their failure to post accurate information.

    Asrock has already supplied a $100 U.S. A620 mobo with a VRM that allows the use of CPUs up to 120w. For an entry level mobo this is amazing value and performance.

    So contrary to what this story and Tom's Hardware has written the A620 chipset mobos are NOT specifically limited to 65w CPUs to have full support. It is imperative that those building PCs check the mobo/CPU details to be certain that the CPU that you want to run is compatible with the VRM of the mobo that you are considering. While this has ALWAYS been the case, apparently some enthusiasts were not aware of this fact.
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    To be clear, at no point are we claiming that A620 is limited to 65W CPUs. To quote:

    "AMD also does not mandate its partners to support processors with a TDP higher than 65W, so in many cases (if not most of them) cases A620-based mainboards will not be able to operate Ryzen 7000X or Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs at their full power limits"

    The chips will run. Mobo vendors' CPU validation lists support that. But for a true baseline motherboard, you may not be able to feed much more than 65W to your CPU.
  • Techie2 - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    The AMD quote assumes an 88w (minimum) VRM design on A620 mobos, not the currently available 120w Asrock A620M-HDV/M.2+ mobo design that has the proper VRM design to power 120w CPUs.

    So to be clear: If an AM5 CPU of up to 120w is used on the Asrock A620M-HDV/M.2+ mobo it can run at full speed. Other mobo models or brands can have the minimum VRM design limiting which CPU models will function at full speed. :)
  • Techie2 - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    Upon further investigation the Asrock A620M-HDV/M.2+ mobo with a VRM designed for up to 120w CPUs can run all currently available Ryzen 7000 CPU models at FULL SPEED except the 170w Ryzen 9 7900X & Ryzen 9 7950X which would be limited to the 120w power consumption. The Ryzen 9 7900X3D and 7950X3D are both 120w CPUs so even they should run at full speed on this specific model Asrock A620 mobo with the 120w VRM.

    I suspect Asrock specifically made this mobo for those on a budget that want to run the X3D CPUs.
  • shelbystripes - Wednesday, April 5, 2023 - link

    The quote describes the aggregate situation across all motherboards. It assumes only that “in many cases (if not most of them)” MB makers will build the A620 to minimum required power specs. It doesn’t actually say that A620 MBs *can’t* support more than 65W, only that AMD expects most A620 MBs made to not do so, since it’s not required.

    So it’s not “incorrect” at all, it’s just not as detailed as what you’re sharing, about a specific MB that does go above minimum specs.
  • Techie2 - Wednesday, April 5, 2023 - link

    "...will not be able to operate Ryzen 7000X or Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs at their full power limits"

    The quote says the A620 chipset mobos will not run 7000X or 7000XD3 CPUs at their full power limit which is totally incorrect. Again the issue is that AMD was making the assumption that all A620 mobos would be using the minimum 88w VRM design.

    The mobo chipset does NOT determine what CPUs can be used, the VRM typically does.
  • CindyYin - Wednesday, April 5, 2023 - link

    Personal experience with AMD Ryzen motherboard is very bad, I hope this AMD A620 platform, AM5 can be very good!

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